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Changes to the TTA Board. Melissa Schmieder Retires, Welcoming New Board Members.

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

At the recent Members Meeting held at the USET Foundation Headquarters the Board said farewell to Melissa Schmieder, who decided it was time to step down. Then President, Cathy Forster, made remarks in recognition and appreciation for all the contributions Melissa made.

"Melissa has been an invaluable asset to the TTA organization, excelling in managing both our membership and events. Her dedication and expertise have significantly elevated our event hosting capabilities and ensured our membership administration remains current. Melissa's departure leaves a noticeable void, and she will be deeply missed."

Melissa reflects on her time at the TTA Board:

During my time at TTA, I managed membership, event planning, and joined the barn tour committee. My responsibilities included organizing member meetings, landowner holiday parties, and collaborating with the Tewksbury Historical Society for the barn tour, attracting visitors from various counties.

The Member Meeting is an exclusive event, featuring educational segments, introducing the new board members, and providing opportunities for socializing and networking. In one memorable instance during my tenure, we organized a unique member meeting after the COVID separation. It involved a tour of the USET led by Maureen Pethick, our USET contact and a close friend of mine. The event proved to be a fantastic offering to our members and was highly appreciated.

Another notable event is the landowner holiday party, where we extend our heartfelt appreciation to the generous individuals who permit us to ride on their property. Typically hosted at the Oldwick Firehouse, this gathering offers a wonderful opportunity for members and landowners to come together, enjoy delicious food, and celebrate. It serves as a meaningful gesture of gratitude and camaraderie.

It was a joy working alongside the dedicated TTA board, a group of hardworking volunteers who pour their hearts into the organization. We all share a deep love for TTA and cherish the chance to ride our horses on the magnificent landscapes of Tewksbury. The rewarding experiences we gain from this commitment make it all worthwhile.

The TTA board is welcoming two new board members!

We were delighted to welcome Hester de Voogd to our Board and Trail Committee in January of this year. Originally hailing from the Netherlands, Hester, along with her husband Mark and their Belgian Malinois, Mia, relocated to New Jersey in 2018. It was through Mia that Hester's connection to horse riding in Tewksbury was established, ultimately leading her to become an integral part of our organization. Presently, Hester enjoys riding the horses of Joy and Ben Custer, and she resides in Millington, Long Hill Township. Horses have been a lifelong passion for Hester, which took root during her formative years as a young girl. Living near the Dutch shore, just west of Amsterdam, Hester had the pleasure of riding through enchanting woods, expansive sand dunes, and even along the picturesque beach. Additionally, Hester is the proud owner of 'Nochalant,' an almost 30-year-old gelding who is now retired and spending his golden years in France. A beautiful image captures Hester and Nochalant together on the beach, a cherished memory of their shared adventures. Professionally, Hester is a seasoned communications expert who oversees communication strategies for a prominent global medical technology company. Her wealth of experience and skills in this field will undoubtedly be invaluable to our association.

Since May this year Jessica Bown has joined our board, where she will be heading our hospitality services. Growing up in Allentown, NJ, just down the road from the Horse Park of NJ, Jessica was immersed in the world of horse racing from an early age, thanks to her parents who were Standardbred race horse trainers. This upbringing instilled in her a genuine love for horses that has stayed with her throughout her life. After a 17-year hiatus from riding, Jessica decided to reignite her equestrian journey by purchasing an off the track chestnut Thoroughbred along with her sister. Their ownership of this magnificent horse led them to relocate him to a farm in Tewksbury, where they immediately fell in love with the town and its vibrant community. As an avid rider and a true admirer of the TTA, Jessica values the association for providing the incredible opportunity to traverse some of the most breathtaking landscapes in New Jersey.

The Tewksbury Trail Association Board expresses its heartfelt gratitude to Melissa for her dedicated service to the TTA. We extend our sincere thanks and best wishes to her, and eagerly anticipate encountering Melissa on the trails. Furthermore, the board is delighted to extend a warm welcome to Hester and Jessica, two exceptional individuals who have joined our team. We are excited to collaborate with these remarkable talents and are confident that their contributions will greatly advance the mission of the TTA. Together, we look forward to achieving new heights and furthering the success of our organization.

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